This week, we have twelve interesting up to date articles, some with audio and video accounts, to suit all level students, taken from different news and general websites. You will be able to discuss these topics with our teachers.
Pick one, read it – write down new vocabulary, then let your teacher know before the lesson what article you want to talk about.
From: Independent Journal Review
Level: Intermediate and above
Includes: Article & Video
Dr. Yaron Brook, an Objectivist academic who is Executive Chairman of the Ayn Rand Institute, was confronted by a college student who complained about Chinese worker conditions in sweatshops.
Do you agree with Dr Yaron Brooks opinion that you have to “go through different phases to become rich?”
How easy is it for us to judge and condemn other life style before “walking a mile in another person’s shoes?”
How “cushy” is the European or North American lifestyle compared to rural China or India?
Attain- verb succeed in achieving (something that one desires and has worked for).
Bucks- noun informal USA dollars
Cushy- adjective informal (of a job, task, or situation) undemanding, easy, or secure.
Rollback- noun informal USA a reduction or decrease.
Sweatshop- noun a factory or workshop, especially in the clothing industry, where manual workers are employed at very low wages for long hours and under poor conditions.
Wanna- verb informal USA want to; want a.
Level: Intermediate and above
Includes: Article and video
O.J. Simpson was granted parole Thursday after more than eight years in prison for a Las Vegas hotel heist, successfully making his case in a nationally televised hearing that reflected America’s enduring fascination with the former football star.
Do you think OJ Simpson deserves parole? What problems will he face on his release?
Do you have a parole system in your country? What is the criteria for it?
Accomplices- noun a person who helps another commit a crime.
Conferencing- verb take part in a conference or conference call.
Confrontation- noun a hostile or argumentative meeting or situation between opposing parties.
Dubbed- verb give an unofficial name or nickname
Enduring- adjective continuing or long-lasting.
Enlisting- verb engage a person or their help &support.
Memorabilia-noun objects kept or collected because of their historical interest, especially those associated with memorable people or events.
Parole- noun is a temporary release of a prisoner who agrees to certain conditions before the completion of the maximum sentence period.
Level: Low intermediate and above
“Eight women sit primly around an elaborately set table making pleasant small-talk about the weather, as immaculately starched waiting staff stand at the ready. The women are not at a fancy restaurant or a high-end social club, but at Switzerland’s last finishing school, learning to master good manners, strict etiquette and how to avoid a fatal faux pas.”
This article says that finishing school provides for in-depth learning and opening-up of the mind do you agree or disagree?
When is it important to understand other cultures, beliefs and habits?
Attire- noun clothes, especially fine or formal ones.
Diverse- adjective showing a great deal of variety; very different.
Elaborately- adverb in a detailed and carefully arranged manner.
Etiquette- noun the customary code of polite behavior in society or among members of a particular profession or group.
Impeccable- adjective of behavior, performance, or appearance correctness; faultless.
No-no- noun informal a thing that is not possible or acceptable.
Skeptical- adjective not easily convinced; having doubts or reservations.
Snobbism- noun people that believe that their tastes in a particular area or position in society are superior to those of other people.
Tureen- noun a deep covered dish from which soup is served.
Business & Economy
From: BBC CAPITAL
Level: Intermediate and above
Around two thirds of people in careers across the spectrum, from factory workers to doctors and pilots, have reported a lack of engagement and a high level of dissatisfaction at work. The main reason? Many of us feel undervalued, spinning our wheels at work on too many meaningless projects at once, and rarely on things do we enjoy.
Have you ever been in a job were you have been disillusioned? How did you get past it?
Whose responsibility is an employee’s job satisfaction and happiness?
Across the spectrum- phrase over a large range of areas of jobs (in this context)
Disenchantment- noun a feeling of disappointment about someone or something you previously respected or admired
Engaged- verb involved in connected to
Entry-level positions- noun the first job that a new trainee or graduate takes upon completion of a training or degree program
Mundane- adjective lacking interest or excitement; dull.
Scope creep – noun informal refers to a project that has seen its original goals expand while it’s in progress.
Spinning our wheels- idiom to waste time.
Level: Intermediate and above
“Earlier this summer, SoftBank invested $500m in Improbable, the largest round of venture financing in British history.
The figure is transformative, it could fire the next-gen tech company into the world’s tech elite and see founders Herman Narula and Rob Whitehead enter the pantheon of Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg .
So why did the money come from Tokyo?”Read more
Do you have major investors in your country that can take businesses to the “unicorn” level?
Why is it important to develop this kind of funding in the UK and Europe?
Aggregator- noun USA a wholesale buyer or broker of a utility service, such as electricity or long-distance telephone service, who packages it and sells it to consumers.
Capped- verb place a limit or restriction on prices, expenditure, or other activity.
Cottage industry- noun a business or manufacturing activity carried on in a person’s home.
Getting off the ground- idiom make a successful start
Scratches the surface – Idiom deal with a matter only in the most superficial way.
Stratosphere –noun informal the very highest levels of a profession or other sphere, or of prices or other quantities.
Transformative-adjective causing a marked change in someone or something.
Includes: Video and Transcript
“In two days, it will be six months since I broke my leg while roller skating. This wasn’t sort of break that they could slap a cast on and tell me to be on my way. When they moved me for x-ray, the pain was so severe that I could not see.
The next day, our seven-year-old was in a car crash.”
Have you ever has a bad situation that turned out for the best with hindsight? What was it? Can you explain what you learned from it ?
What inspired you most in this article / video?
Burden of responsibility – phrase a duty that is very difficult and overwhelming
Displaced- verb cause something to move from its proper or usual place.
Fired – verb informal dismiss an employee from a job.
Five point harness- noun a form of seat belt that contains five straps that are mounted to the car frame. It has been engineered for an increase of safety in the case of a car accident
Inept- adjective having or showing no skill; clumsy.
New lease on life – idiom a fresh start; renewed vigor and good health,
Perspective – noun a particular attitude toward or way of regarding something; a point of view.
Prepped- verb informal prepare something; make ready.
Shattered – Adjective broken into many pieces.
Tech – noun Informal short for technician
Science & Technology
From: BBC SIX Minutes English
Level: Low intermediate and above
Includes: article &audio
We hear stories about pets who manage to find their way home, even across hundreds of miles? How do they do it? Neil and Dan explore some of the theories in this episode of 6 Minute English.
Do you have a pet? What kind of animal is it and how did you choose it?
Have you ever know a cat or dog to travel a long distance home?
A cat person- phrase someone who likes or prefers cats
Landmark- noun something which is easily recognisable and helps you find your way
Magnet- noun a piece of metal which attracts certain metals
Systematic-verb done according to a system
Territory- the area an animal controls
To scratch your head about something – idiom to be confused about something
From: Voice Of America
Includes: Article & Audio
One of the best uses of technology is to make life easier.
A new product from Microsoft Corporation can do just that for people who have trouble seeing. They may be blind or visually impaired.
The product, an app, is currently available for free for Apple’s iPhone and iPad. The app is called Seeing AI. “AI” is short for artificial intelligence, a term for computers with an ability to think and learn like human beings.
Do you like the idea of Seeing AI to help blind and visually impaired people identify what is in front of them?
How do you think Seeing AI will be helpful to others?
What would you like to see the app be able to do?
Artificial intelligence – noun the ability of a computer to think and learn like a human
Bar code – noun a group of thick and thin lines that is placed on a product so that a computer can get the price of the product and other information about it
Frisbee – noun a plastic disc that you throw to someone who tries to catch it as part of a game
Icon – noun a small picture on a computer screen that represents a program or function
Menu – noun a list of the foods that may be ordered at a restaurant
Navigation – noun the act, activity, or process of finding the way to get to a place when you are traveling in a ship, airplane, car, etc.
Screen – noun the usually flat part of a television or computer monitor that shows the images or text: the part of a television or computer that you look at when you are using it
Visually impaired – adjective eyesight that cannot be corrected to a normal level.
Culture & Leisure
From: L.A. Times
If you need help, work harder.” This is what Lance Thomas remembers a chef mentor telling him one night six years ago, when they were both in the weeds, cooking slang for being slammed in a busy restaurant kitchen. It’s a piece of advice that has helped Thomas, now 25, get through both the good times and the bad times — including being homeless.
Lance Thomas kept going through hard times because of dream & his love of cooking- what motivates you through difficult times?
How difficult is it for people on minimum wages to keep a roof over their heads nowadays?
When you go out to eat at a restaurant do you ever think of the staff on a minimum wage who work hard to create your evening out?
Barter system- noun a system of exchange where goods or services are directly exchanged for other goods or services
Ditch- noun informal get rid of; give up.
Gastropub- noun British a pub or bar that specializes in serving high-quality food.
Shuttled- verb travel regularly between two or more places
Sous-chef- noun a chef who is “the second in command in a kitchen; the person ranking next after the head chef.”
Stints- noun informal can refer to the stretch of time spent doing a particular job
Level: Low Intermediate and above
Let’s be blunt: If you like to take lots of vacation, the United States is not the place to work.
Besides a handful of national holidays, the typical American worker bee gets two or three precious weeks off out of a whole year to relax and see the world — much less than what people in many other countries receive.
How much vacation do you have each year from work? Do you think it is a fair amount?
What do you normally do on your vacation?
Do you agree that American workers should have as much vacation time as Europeans?
Blunt- adjective uncompromisingly forthright, plain spoken direct.
Precious- adjective of great value; not to be wasted or treated carelessly.
Pull something off- phrasal verb informal succeed in achieving or winning something difficult.
Retain-verb continue to have something; keep possession of.
With strings attached –idiom here are conditions or obligations that go with an offer or service
Health & Lifestyle
Includes: Videos and Article
You’ve spent the last four decades of your life getting your metabolism and eating habits in the right shape. Now is the time to really tighten the belt (so to speak) and focus on managing a normal weight and developing a fierce disease reversal plan.
In your 50s, major shifts in hormones and habits can make losing weight a real challenge. You may also be seeing multiple doctors for various reasons, and considering natural remedies versus medication for new issues.
Have you got a special way of losing weight that works best for you? Please explain.
Which of these tips would you try out?
Do you think it is important to keep fit especially for people over 50 years old?
Beneficial- adjective favorable or advantageous; resulting in good.
Cravings- noun a powerful desire for something
Elliptical machine- noun a stationary exercise machine used to simulate stair climbing, walking, or running without causing excessive pressure to the joints
Metabolism – noun the chemical processes that occur within a living organism in order to maintain life.
Veggies- noun & adjective informal another word for vegetables
From: Business Insider
“I was the fat kid in high school that always got bullied, but I was never allowed to fight back,” Wittman tells Business Insider. “I didn’t want to live my life like that, so I joined the Marine Corps.”
During his stint in boot camp, he picked up a morning habit that’s stayed with him ever since.
Have you a daily habit that keeps you healthy and focused?
What made you take up this habit?
How does it help you ?
Boot camp- noun USA a military training camp for new recruits, with strict discipline.
Bullied – verb use superior strength or influence to intimidate someone
Daily affirmation- noun are conscious thoughts or prayers that a person repeats every day.
Kicking the day off- idiom starting the day
Missionary work- noun a person sent by a church into an area to carry on evangelism or other activities, as educational or hospital work.
That is all for this week, we hope you have enjoyed the articles selected for you. Please let us know what type articles you particularly liked or if you would like another type of articles included in our weekly list. Share your thoughts and comments on our Facebook page or tell your teacher.